“A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz” contemporary Jazz band starts the new year off with an invigorating show at Jason Wyckoff’s nightclub performance space Jason’s Upstairs Bar in Hudson, NY on Friday, January 9th at 9:30pm. Fresh from the group’s celebrated debut album A Perfect Gift: All That is Jazz and gearing up for a 2009 release, the band enlivens audiences with their original Jazz compositions that contain a sexy edge of blues and funk, spoken word and standards.
“A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz” is currently rehearsing for a second CD of all original compositions to follow its well received first CD of original works. This second CD will be comprised of at least nine original works of Jazz with an edge of Blues and Funk. These new songs also embrace Flamenco, Samba and other Latin rhythms for a truly unique sound.
Since the summer of 2007, the Artists Alliance Against Violence Inc. (a 501 (c) (3) corporation devoted to non-violence through the arts) has presented “A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz.” “A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz” is a jazz music ensemble that offers dedicated young musicians fair and respectful job opportunities, in which they are encouraged to write, perform and record their own original compositions. Our group of artistically diverse rising musicians also rehearses and performs classic jazz standards by jazz greats such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk and Duke Ellington. Jazz, a sublime example of how the violence of slavery has been transformed into a classical music form that embraces people of all races and sociological backgrounds, is the motivating force at the core of this group. Through the inspiring power of live Jazz music, “A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz” unites people from all walks of life and makes powerful statements about freedom, creativity and American identity to all who wish to listen.
In the past “A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz has donated more than half of its work to charitable groups. In the recent past “A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz” has donated hundreds of copies of its CD of original works (Retail $10) including 150 copies to the Rex Foundation.
Throughout 2008 “A Prefect Gift: All That Is Jazz” donated performances to charitable causes. For example, we performed at the 8th annual Women’s Health and Fitness Expo in Kingston, NY for which we asked no compensation. We also donated our time to the Center for Creative Education at the first annual Kingston Karnival to benefit the inner-city youth of Kingston, NY.
In 2009, in addition to other projects previously described, “A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz” will collaborate with the Ulster County SPCA. By doing so, the AAAV, Inc will address the problem of animal abuse that then accelerates to the abuse of humans. Years ago, AAAV, inc. dealt with a man who brutally battered the family pets before he accelerated to abusing his own child. By donating performance and CD sales to the SPCA we hope to aid at least a few innocents who may have suffered such abuse.
“A Perfect Gift: All That Is Jazz” is currently a group of five emerging musicians and one vocalist/spoken word artist. A Perfect Gift continually invites new artists to collaborate and has had as many as ten band members in the past. Our current musicians are Ian Martusewicz (guitar/band manager), Lewis Greeney (upright and electric bass), Miles Rachel Sandler (vocals/spoken word), Andrew Greeney (drums), Christian Joao (Tenor and Alto saxophone) and Bryan Polack (trumpet). At this time, our musicians are all soon to be or recent graduates of the State University of New York, New Paltz’s School of Fine & Performing Art.
The following artists collaborated on this CD.
Andrew Greeney received his BA in music from SUNY New Paltz in 2003, and has studied with Jazz drum master Marvin ‘BuGaLu’ Smith for 7 years. Over the years, he has played and recorded with many great Jazz and blues performers that reside in the Hudson Valley and New York, including Scott Hesse, Lew Scott, Eddie Diehl, Derrick James, Vito Speranza, Little Scotty, the Essentials and many others. He has also toured and recorded with Natty Wailer, formerly of Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Lewis R. Greeney has recorded and toured internationally with Reggae Artists, as well as playing Jazz and Blues locally at many gigs and jam sessions. For more info see http://www.myspace.com/lewisgreeney.
Christian Joao’s interest in the saxophone began in his teens when he became aware of such great Jazz artists as Charlie Parker, Art Pepper & Buddy Collette. Christian is currently completing his undergraduate degrees at SUNY New Paltz. He performs often in the local area; frequently playing at clubs, private parties, community events, and with theatrical companies and song and dance productions.
At age 13, after showing interest, Ian Martusewicz received his first guitar and was bargained to get lessons, as long as he continued piano. During high school, guitar won over piano, as he began to learn theory and the blues. Ian attended SUNY New Paltz and graduated with Music Majors in Jazz Studies and Composition, studying under Tom Dempsey, Ping Jin and Mark Dziuba. He continues to live and work in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Most recently, Miles Rachel Sandler lived in Washington, D.C., where spoken word became a huge influence on her artistic life. Currently, she performs slam poetry and participates actively in local theatre. Miles’ musical world has been greatly influenced by her mother’s (Olivia Hill-playwright) love of music and coaching. Also, church choir singing has played a role in the development of her voice. Miles recently began working with musician Justin Homes around New Paltz, NY.
Kyle Vock co-founded the New Paltz Jazz Society in 2005. He has been successful in organizing Jazz clinics by Jack DeJohnette, Rebecca Coupe Franks, Karl Berger, and Rufus Reid. He is active in several different outfits ranging from Jazz to Funk/RnB. Kyle is currently attending the Graduate Program at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
John Sardo started playing trumpet at the age of 12. He was fortunate enough to be able to study trumpet under Mike Siless, as well as playing in high school ensembles directed by Roger Hansen and Steven Keiley. He went on to study at Syracuse University where he attended the Crouse School of Music. John has also received his BA in mathematics education at Suny New Paltz.
The Artists Alliance Against Violence, Inc. (AAAV, Inc.) promotes the prevention of interpersonal violence and advances opportunities for healing through the arts. The AAAV, Inc. was founded in 1995. It has assisted individuals and groups all over the world through its non-violence work (literature and video). AAAV, Inc. also engages artists and audiences in community arts programs, performing groups, videos and CD’s. AAAV, Inc. educates and mentors emerging artists in ways to professionally present their art forms to the world. AAAV, Inc. integrates the arts with non-violence by creating vehicles for individuals to express themselves through the arts and be respectfully heard.
More information can be found on our web site www.aaavinc.org.